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November 2022
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January 2023

December 2022

Time for a review

Well looking at the year that was I didn't set a goal for each month as I said I would.  Life kind of just took over and I reacted to events.  

  I think I had more success when I set a list of goals, even if I didn't achieve them all. 

I did resign from all paid teaching although I have kept a few classes where I will work as a volunteer.  

I must NOT let this grow' and, I will limit the number of judging jobs that I undertake.

My right arm, which I have broken a number of times, can be temperamental and I have been doing a lot of knitting in the second part of this year and I have a number of knitting and crocheting projects I want to take on.  

I will need to pace the amount of knitting and crocheting I undertake in the following year.

Friendships have been super important over the last year.  My husband is ageing and experiencing signs of dementia and I have found this very distressing.  It has highlighted just how important having a good support system is. I am also getting older and I know at some point in the future driving may be a problem.   I have joined a local patchwork group that I can catch a bus to, to attend meetings.  I have also made some new friends in my local area and will take more time so I can meet my old friends.

Also,  I need to re-kindle some of my other interests, most notably, my love of music.  I need to attend more concerts and play the piano more often.  This is difficult with the injury to my right arm but not impossible.  What is impossible is singing.  I have a inoperable growth on my thyroid gland and if I sing it becomes very painful and I lose my voice, but I can listen. So, going to concerts in on the agenda and visits to the Art Gallery in the city needs to recommence.  These activities also allow me to join with friends to enjoy their company and having responsibility for home schooling of my grand daughter is no longer an issue.

Now that I am not teaching the priorities for my stitching have changed.  Most stitching was driven for the need to design teaching pieces.  That is no longer the case.  This has left me rather unsure about just what my priorities will be.  So I asked myself,

"what do I want to stitch?"

The list was so long that it would be quite unmanageable.  So this list may change as the year progresses but I will;

join the TAST challenge

Design and stitch a new book cover for the year.

Continue with the Kogin pin cushions and bags.

Complete the Graffitti and Friendship quilts.

Make the majority of my own clothes.

Travel is now back on the agenda but I don't want to go far or for very long as I don't like to leave my husband alone.  So my goals here are modest.

 Go to the Wool Festival in Bendigo, Victoria, in 2023.  (The pandemic has made this impossible over the last few years.)

I will visit my quilting friends in Toowoomba at some of their retreats.

I will attend at least one retreat with my Maberly quilting group.

I will attend two meetings a month at the Embroiderers Guild.

I haven't looked at what I want to do around the house or how I will incorporate family into all of this but it is a good starting point and gives me a sense of direction and if you can't change your mind along the way about what your goals are it isn't a workable plan to start with!

(I found this article  very informative when coming up with my plan.)

So, "girding up her loins" she launches into 2023!!

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Just laying around

I am still confined to my bed so I have been sitting knitting, in fits and starts, and looking at Pinterest.  ( That can take up most of the day.)

There I found the work of Katrin Vates, and I am captivated.

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Here is a link to her Instagram page.  (Be careful of your keyboard while you drool.)

The stitches she uses are simple but her use of colour and her ability to shade is wonderful.  She has a small video explaining her process.  And, there are a number of images on her site that explain this also. 

I was interested to note that although she mostly uses stranded cottons, (I have to have one of these thread holders)

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she supplements these colours with sewing cottons.

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And, she uses  a process like a knitter's swatch to test her colours and stitches.

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I have a small design that I would like to test this process on.  It may not eventuate into a finished piece but I'm sure the 'process' will be interesting.There is so much to learn from looking at her work.

Merry Xmas

I think I will be spending a good part of my Christmas "laid up."  I had my 4th Covid vaccination on Monday and have been in  and out of my bed since then.  I have had a 'doozie' of a reaction.  The nurse did say it contained coverage of a 'new strain' and that she had been very ill with her injection, I don't know if my reaction was the same but I am not fit to drive a car and even walking around the house is difficult.

But it is Xmas, so some family members will miss out on gifts.  I had finished shopping for most people but my sons, daughter, their partners and my husband are going to miss out.  There has to be a first time for everything I suppose and as I have a doctors visit on Friday I might be able to get some small thing for them, (like booze as the bottle shop is right near the Doctor's rooms.)

I do hope that everyone has a Merry Xmas and that 2023 is a productive stitching year.

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I have had to re-make my knitting bag. The zipper broke and I thought about throwing it away and just making a new one, but that seemed a bit extreme.  So I unpicked the old one. Boy, I sure made it strong but I finally got it apart.

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Replacing the zipper was the easy bit.

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The whole thing had to go back to the beginning. The repair took a couple of hours, so not quiet as long as making a new one, but, I have to say I found the process very satisfying and I got the lining sitting a bit better, that just slipped into position.  I couldn't find a mauve zipper long enough, so, pink it is.

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I am auditioning fabrics for the mug bag.

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And the second sleeve is growing.

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The count down to Xmas

Well here we are again, just a few days before Xmas.  It comes around so quickly each year.

I thought I was having a day making  a gingerbread house with the girls but they remembered that I said I would take them to Ikea to buy desks for their new rooms.  I am still recovering, all that walking.  I'm not nearly as young as I used to be.  I hadn't realised what I had started.  They have been researching what they wanted for weeks and Monique had her list and knew exactly what she wanted to buy, Jasmine knew, but wanted to look at everything to be sure she had picked the right things.  Once around Ikea wears me out, three times destroys me.  So instead of going to inspect my daughter and son-in-law's new farm (they are going to run cattle) I stayed home to recover and sent my husband on his own.

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I have now just about finished with Xmas lunches, only one more to go and most of my friends have flown out of Australia to all points of the globe.  The USA, UK, the middle east and South America and now I am sitting looking at a mug I was given as a gift. 

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It needs a bag.  I have another mug in a beautiful bag but I have put it somewhere SAFE.  Heaven knows where SAFE is, I don't, so, I need to make a new mug bag.  (You can not go to patchwork meetings without a mug bag.)   I think I will make a mock-up for this one so that I can make adjustments.  (Tutorial to follow.)

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I still have that gingerbread house to finish, that will be Friday.  ( If you want a good laugh have a look at Arne and Carlos decorating their Gingerbread House.  )

Because of the high humidity here our gingerbread houses only last 1 day, sometimes less.  I think waiting for the collapse of the house is part of the attraction to the girls.  And on the above show, which is set in Norway, they demolish their houses, which are filled with lollies, with a hammer on Xmas Eve to get to the sweets.  I won't tell the girls about that.


Well I have finished heaps but I have wrapped all these pieces up ready to give as presents tomorrow and I forgot to photograph them!  I will just have to take photos when people open their presents.  (What a bummer.)

I have finished the main part of my knitting, front and back, to the armhole and am well into the first sleeve.

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And the other excitement was when an Ibis flew into the window of the study, BANG!!  It was just like an explosion.

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We managed to get a glazier but it will take a week before the window can be replaced and it takes up half of the wall of the study. Never a dull moment.


The parties commence

It is now the week of parties, once each day for the next two weeks.  I think that I will need to put my stitching aside and just 'go with the flow'.  Although, today is the last day to get my Xmas parcels in the mail so I have to fit that in as well.

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And as these needle keepers/pin cushions make up some of the gifts I think I might be burning the midnight oil!


I'm not sure how but the knitting is growing very quickly.  I sit and listen to my podcasts at night while I knit and it just grows.

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I think I have solved the design problem for my little pin and needle holders.I will put up a tutorial when I get it right.  In the mean time I keep embroidering the tops.

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I am sewing lots of gift bags to put Xmas gifts in.

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And it is time to go through all those draws again.